Talbot, a motor mechanic, spilt some engine oil near the open entranceway to his workshop. He immediately scrubbed it with detergent, but the surface remained slightly oily. Imagine that the following accidents took place. Explain whether Talbot would be liable for the resulting damage for the following five situations (may refer to the relevant cases):
Talbot would be liable for the resulting damage for the following five situations (may refer to the relevant cases):
(i) Talbot went to get some sand from the back of the workshop and the phone rang. Not wanting to miss a customer, he returned to answer the call. His back was turned for 30 seconds. During that time Nancy, a customer, entered. She slipped and broke her leg.
(ii) Nancy’s daughter, who was a very nervous person, was walking behind her mother. She became very upset when she saw her mother fall because she knew that serious damage could result.
(iii) Talbot wrote out a sign in very large bright letters which said ‘Warning—slippery floor. Do not enter’ and fixed it to the side of the workshop entrance. Connor, a customer with very poor eyesight, missed the sign, strode in, slipped and broke his leg.
(iv) Connor screamed loudly after his fall. This caused a customer who was filling his tank at the self-serve pump to spin round involuntarily and spray petrol into the eyes of another customer, who ran in shock down the driveway of Talbot’s garage. The driver of a Porsche who was entering the driveway swung his wheel to avoid the customer and crashed into a brick wall, causing more than $15,000 damage to his car.
(v) Immediately after the spill, Talbot walked outside, pulled down the shutters of the workshop and went for a coffee. A 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy who live behind the garage often sneak into the workshop when Talbot is out and chase each other around. Talbot had previously threatened to charge them with trespass. They sneak in through the unlocked back door and begin to chase each other. The boy slips and crashed into the shutters. He breaks his jaw and suffers possible long-term brain damage.